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Steve
Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
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Automatic transmission..it shifts into second gear..shifter

Customer Question

my automatic transmission does not always shift properly an example is you have to be going 50MPH before it shifts into second gear and now sometimes it will not start unless you push the shifter forward real hard. I didn't think much about it until I had the starting issue, but it still didn't concern me since a garage I go to all the time had put a new computer in it. I paid $4,000 to pay off the car and was going to trade it in. The garage said my transmission was going out and it would cost him about $1,500 to fix it and he gets a discount. The more I think about it the more I think I got shafted. What do you think? Should I ster clear of that garage and the smooth talking salesman or was my transmission really going out??
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
Hello;
It is possible you may have a shift linkage and/ or throttle valve cable out of adjustment contributing to your problem.   The clue here is that you have to push on the gearshift to get the vehicle to start.   
   While it is a possibility that you may have internal transmission or valve body problems developing, I would hesitate to condemn a major component like a transmission assembly without having it professionally diagnosed.
   If the transmission is failing, a competent technician will be able to diagnose an internal problem on one of these fairly quickly.   By connecting a transmission capable scan tool to the vehicle, a technician can retrieve any stored failure records, as well as check what are called clutch volume index values.   These are calculated values stored in the transmission controller that represent compensation that the software has made in the shift solenoid applications to compensate for internal wear or leaks.   If the CVI's are out of normal range, there is a good chance that the transmission is indeed in need of internal repairs.   Fluid color and condition is also an important indicator of transmissin health; it should be red or pink, not brown or black; dark discolored fluid is indicative of a transmission overheating problem.   If you wipe some on a clean paper towel, look for little specks of black residue (indicating failing clutch or band material) or silvery specks (metal worn from hard parts internally).
   The proper fluid is also important here; use only mopar 7176 ATF+3 or ATF+4 compatible fluid; adding dexron/ mercon to these transmissions will result in funny shifting concerns like chatter.
   In short: take it in to a transmission shop you trust, or your local dealer; have them check your shift linkage adjustment & neutral switch because of teh starting problem.   Describe to them the shift symptoms you are experiencing and let them diagnose the concern properly; you don';t want to guess at a $1500+ component.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve Rapp's Post: Thank you so much for your help. Unfortunately He talked me into trading my car in and gave me $2,000 off my next car.
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
thank you for the opportunity to help; if you think my response was at all helpful, please click on teh "accept' button to accept my response;   specialists are paid and graded on their correct response rate...

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